“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.” ― T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
The beauty of a New Year is that it offers a do-over. Another voice. One year has ended and another has begun. No matter what we accomplished in 2012, it’s over. The train you rode in 2012 is no more and you’ll never be able to catch that train again. You have to ride 2013’s train.
Many are beginning the year with resolutions. Resolving to adopt a healthier lifestyle or to go to church more are common ones. I submit that in 2013, there is only one resolution that is worth having.
Be your best self
Understand, I didn’t say to be a good person. I didn’t say to emulate anybody else, no matter how much you admire them or how much they tell you you should be like them. I didn’t say for you to live up to a cookie cutter politically correct standard of what that looks like. I said, it is to be your best self. Nobody else gets a vote in how that looks but you and the One who created you; for in all His creation, he put spiritual DNA. Somewhere in the fabric of your is-ness, there is a homing device that let’s you know when something rings true for you and when something does not. That’s why it is so important to deal with one’s codependency.
I’m a church girl. Grew up in church and I swear, I might have been born somewhere between the Hallelujah and Glory of 11:00 morning service, 3:00 evening worship or 7:30 night service. And the testimony that I found most provoking was the one when someone stood up and–after giving honor to God, the pastor, deacons, saints and friends–said, “I thank God for delivering me from people.” I didn’t fully understand how wonderful that was until I learned about codependency.
For those who have never heard that term, codependency means dependent with. Just as coexist means to exist with or co-parent means to parent with, codependency involves at least one other person that we rely on. In and of itself, it isn’t a bad thing. No person is an island. Where it gets unhealthy though is when both people suppress or oppress the growth and emergence of the other person to be the empowered soul they were born to be. If someone in your life keeps you from seeing your own value, worth or enablement apart from them, then the “co” is not good for you.
In my childhood, my father’s drinking took center stage. To boot, he was a binge drinker. He drank for a time and stopped for a time. Talk about a roller coaster! Rather than understand accountability and responsibility and hold him to it, we all assumed various roles in the household. Sadly, those roles enabled him to continue. Robert Burney, M.A. in his Adult Children Of Alcoholics/ACAs ACOAs ACODFs Blog, identifies four roles common to households where there is an addicted parent: the Responsible Child, the Acting Out Child, the Caretaker, and the Lost Child. Almost immediately, I can tell you the roles I, my mother and my sisters assumed. For me, I later understood that deliverance from people was mainly no longer assuming any of those roles in extended relationships.
That is the role of the spiritual DNA we all have. It’s the homing device to getting beneath the roles and down to who we really are. It picks up that something Wiser in us and around us and emits a pulse within us that beckons us to notice. To notice what’s no longer working. To notice what’s out of place. Roles are what we do, but they are not who we are. So in order to get to our authentic core, all the roles we perform, the crutches we lean on and personalities we assume have to be debunked.
Your New Year awaits another voice. Your voice. So rather than setting up goals that you might reach or you might do well for a few months and abandon, I invite you to resolve to do one thing this year. Be your best self. Everything else will take care of itself.